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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 16, 2009 11:35pm-12:05am EST

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tonight on "nightline" -- realty check, one family with five days to leave their home.
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but can anything be done to stop them from becoming another victim of the foreclosure crisis? plastic fantastic as the holiday season gets into the full swing. the inside story of how lego conquered the toy industry brick by brick. plus, the play list is back and multigrammy winner norah jones joins us with her favorites. good evening, i'm terry moran. and we're going to begin tonight th a story about the human face of the foreclosure crisis. and crisis is easing somewhat. but foreclosure filings are still 19% higher than they were a year ago. and it's not just subprime mortgages at risk. foreclosures are affecting more and more people with traditional, fixed rate loans as well.
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and so, tonight, we take you to ohio. to meet one family fighting foreclosure with just five days left to avoid eviction, vicki mabrey meets the kehoes with the reality check. >> reporter: for jay walking his daughter sarah to the bus stop each day has been a cherished ritual, a chance to bond with the busy days. a year ago, with sarah safely off to school, jay would have gone to work, now, he goes home. >> i have to call worker's comp, i only received a partial payment. >> reporter: because last year, on veterans day, this army veteran hurt his back on his job. he said his job disappeared when he was on disability, and in five day, unless there's miracle, their house will be gone as well. >> it's difficult right now. right now, we're being evicted from our home.
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>> reporter: they are losing their home from foreclosure. they have five days to pack up and move out. >> good days and bad days. >> reporter: hobbled by injury, he can lift only the lightest of boxes and his wife kathryn is sick with the flu today so he's on his own. by late afternoon, it looks like nothing has been packed. >> i got nothing done. >> reporter: and it's time to collect sarah from the bus stop. this isn't the story of people who lived in ed extravagantly a frittered away their money. >> it was a series of unfortunate events in an american family. >> reporter: it was a snowball. >> avalanche. >> reporter: that avalanche was the perfect storm of bad economy, corporate merger, injury and illness. there was a corporate shake-up where jay worked and his $67,000 salary was cut by $22,000. company-paid health insurance
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disappeared. they filed bankruptcy when kathryn's medical bills reached almost $80,000. >> you're crazy, child. you're crazy. >> we didn't have any credit card debt. it was all medical bills. i'm driving a '98 honda. you know, i'm not rolling in a hummer. >> reporter: to cope with the pressure, jay sees a psychologist once a week and started keeping another standing appointment with god. the kehoss' tiny piece of the american dream is a small townhouse in cincinnati. it went back to the bank at auction six months ago for $87,000. still, jay and kathryn fought hard to get it back with the help of a nonprofit group called esop. >> we're usually pretty successful. and we gave it a shot.
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>> reporter: mark seifert runs esop which stands for empowering and strengthening ohio's people. >> we still see folks that have stupid crazy loans maybe they shouldn't have gotten. but the vast majority of people we're seeing today have good fixed rate mortgages that they lost their job. they had a health issue. a death in the family. whatever, anything that can happen. life happens. rk back at the kehoes, it's friday, kathryn feels better so she's pitching in. >> i kind of cope it's only a bad dream. >> reporter: they haven't found free help or a truck. and the sheriff's dd line is tuesday at noon. tensions are rising. >> i understand that. >> i'm not going to have my kids sit there watching or come home to all of their stuff being out on the curb. >> reporter: kathryn takes
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medical breaks. she suffers from crohn's disease, a debilitating gastro intestinal disorder that has put her in the hospital 19 times. how much do you pay every month for health insurance. >> 1336. >> reporter: $1300 per month? >> and we made the decision between, you know, bankruptcy and our house being safe that way, to health insurance. and now i have neither. >> reporter: still, they say cath rinse's parents live nearby and will take them in temporarily. but that doesn't make it any easier. >> jay told me a couple weeks ago, he said, you know, this is drywall, sheet rock and brick. it's home because we're here. but, you know, home can be anywhere. and i said, yeah, but it's ours. or it was.
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it's really difficult to go through it. >> i was happy because my mattress -- being on a mattress doesn't really feel very good. >> reporter: jay and kathryn have tried to shield 8-year-old sarah and 13-year-old colin. the kids know what's happening but seem insulated by youthful optimism. you got your room painted so nicely. are you sad to leave this? >> i am sad just a bit but i'm also glad because i'll be with my grandparents. it's kind of like a fresh start for us, i guess. >> reporter: monday morning, the house still looks like a tornado hit. it's time for jay and sarah to take their walk to the b stop. kathryn goes along, it's a wrenching moment, the last time sarah will catch the bus from here.
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>> hello. >> reporter: back at home, a real estate agent calls dangle a $2,000 if they'll leave by midnight. >> we'll be done probably 11:59 this evening, ma'am. >> reporter: that promise seems empty by the afternoon. you see why they love their community. the neigors come through. >> they've been so sweet to me. i just love them. i just hope god takes care of them. >> reporter: seven hoursing to, and the real estate agent who doesn't want to be on camera arrives with the agreement. six hours ago, people from a local church, strangers bring a trailer and helping hands. >> amazing acts of incredible kindness tonight. people came from all over, strangers, friends and neighbors who do things for us because we couldn't.
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>> reporter: as promised just before midnight, it is finally over. >> we're exhausted. we're done and can't believe we are. very happy we are. but we're done. >> reporter: this is vicki mabrey for "nightline" in mason, ohio. >> what a telling story in these trying times. we wish the best to the kehoes, and our best to vicki mabrey for that strong report. when we come back, we're going to turn a page. we'll take a journey to the real legoland for an unlikely holiday success story. welcome to the now network, population 49 million. right now 1.2 million people are on sprint mobile broadband. 31 are streaming a sales conference from the road. 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry. and 1300 are secretly checking email on a vacatn. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network.
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well well, the holiday shopping season is just a few days and a turkey drum stick away. and desperate retailers are hoping parents will fall into a toy-buying frenzy, especially after last year's almost total washout. so what's the hottest toy out there right now? well, the answer might surprise you, it's those little
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interlocking plastic bricks that have delighted so many kids for generations. remember? legos, a danish word meaning "play well." nick watt tells us why lego is stacking up again. >> reporter: everyday, millions of dismembered torsos, heads and legs roll off the production lines in a little danish town called billund. lego land castle parts dot the skyline. there's an international airport, only one of two in the country built because of lego. and there's a lego museum that every new employee must visit. >> what you see here is the big thing in our history. >> reporter: and something called an idea house where in 1955, they invented what you know today, the brick. >> it's a part of life.
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it's a part of daily life for children. they grow up with lego bricks. >> reporter: there is lego, lego everywhere. ♪ it's quasi-religious. are you quite secretive. this guy is a top lego designer. >> we can't talk about what we do outside of this building. >> reporter: there are 62 lego bricks for every human being on this planet. there are more lego men on earth than americans. two million lego pieces born every hour. yep, this is my head made out of lego, complete with receding hairline and this ghastly chin. this proves that you can make pretty much anything out of lego. but just five years ago, this iconic brand was almost
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finished. found fod during the great depression of the 1930s by a struggling carpenter, ole kirk christensen. christensen's decendents who still ran the business lost heir way. lego had debts of nearly $1 billion. sales slumped 40% in two years then a guy named jorgen vik knudsdorp took over. he streamlined production. they used to make 13,000 different pieces. now, they make just 6,000. >> lady over there is actually filling in the backpacks. >> reporter: vik knudsdorp sold
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legoland to a theme park. >> when we were constructing it, we didn't know where the future. >> reporter: he figured even in an age of tv and video games kids still want to play in their hands. lego has moved away from the pure, simpler lego i remember from my youth. these days lego men carry guns. there's more fighting. it seems more instructions. >> you can build the high-tech level agent's car. >> reporter: while i felt that lego let my imagination run wild. >> it's in your hands for indiana jones. >> reporter: now, kids are told out to create an indiana jones fight scene. by doing that, you are imposing some limits or directions on the child's creative py? >> i don't think it limits the
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imagination, i think it shows them here's another place. what i find, suddenly there's a pirate ship sailing straight into a "star wars" base. i say, hang on, you can't do that, and why? >> you want a piece of him, get it line. >> reporter: now, there are times with video games and spinoffs of popular culture to grab kids' attention. there's "star wars" lego. >> the jedi under attack. >> reporter: there's "harry potter" lego. >> welcome to a wonder drus world's. >> reporter: there's "spongebob squarepants" lego. >> if you're not competitive, kids are disloyal in that sense. normally, they would spend 15 minutes on any toy they get. >> reporter: period? >> period. >> reporter: young things like will is charged with dreaming up new products to who the lego
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generation. >> i loved lego as a child. i didn't actually think of it as a job. >> reporter: it is now. will gets paid for coming up with things like atlantis. it will hit stores in january. an 8-year-old kid may actually do your job better than you? >> possibly. but i try not to think about that. >> reporter: by the way, it's not just for kids afols or adult fans of lego are big, apparently accounting for 10% of sales. there's even a magazine. arthur, a grown up, affol daniela beat this sweet looking house. anyway, after the rock bottom of 2004, lego gradually began to make a bit of money again. then something extraordinary happened. 2008 as recession deepened and toy sales in the u.s. fell by 5%, lego sales in america
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climbed an astonishing 38%. the brick was back. >> the families that buy lego in the u.s. spend about $60 per year. if you could afford $60 on your child last year even before the financial crisis, you'll still be able to afford $60 this year. >> reporter: but sales are actually climbing during a recession, a lego renaissance. >> one of the reasons, parents see thises is a good investment. it's not seen as a wasteful society of throwing something away. >> reporter: perhaps, i mean it is a gift that keeps on giving. you can make almost anything out of legno. even a second-rate corporate. i'm nick watt from "nightline" in billund, denmark. >> thanks to nick watt for that. when we come back, don't know why?
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we do. norah jones on tonight's "play list." ♪ don't know why i didn't come ♪ [ officer azevedo ] like most of us on the force, i work with a partner. this is mine, blitz. i can't do this job without him, and he can't do it without me. to keep him at his best, i only feed him eukanuba with prebiotics to promote strong defenses. you know he means the world to me for a lot of different reasons. he's more than a partner, he's family.
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back in back in 2003, norah jones debut album "come away with me" brought this singer/songwriter popular and critical acclaim. she swept the grammys when she was just 23 years old. since then, her albums have topped the charts. tomorrow, she'll release her fourth." the fall" she calls it. ♪ i waited till i saw the sun don't know why i didn't come ♪ >> "don't know why" was a demo. it wasn't supposed to be on the record. it was the first thing we recorded. i had no idea it was going to become a hit. i guess when i hear it now, it's
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a little sentimental. ♪ what would i do without you >> i always loved ray charles, and i always have loved his piano playing. it's been a big, big influence on me. there's so many ray charles songs to pick from. i know one that i always loved. i loved the way he played piano. there was a song "what would i do." it's the feel and it's got a great groove. and i would try to emulate it and imitate what he's playing to learn how to play it. it was amazing because i got to sing with ray charles just before he died. i mean, it was incredibly thrilling for . he was, you know, not very well at the time but he still just put it all into the music. ♪ you go throuo my head ♪ >> "you go to my head" there's a
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line like the bubbles in a glass of champagne. when she said the word "bubble" she sounds like a bubble herself. i thought it was the cutest thing in the world. i would try to intimidate her, it paid off, because in high school, i got cast as billy holliday. i don't think i realized the heaviness of my life until i got cast in that role. ♪ jolene, jolene jolene >> i've always loved dolly parton because he's a strong woman. "jolene" stands out. it's one of my favorite songs. it's a beautiful song. a heartbreaking desperate moment of emotion. she makes it very beautiful. she write these great songs and she's just a great chick to look up to, you know, as a female.
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♪ you got to hold on it's called "hold on" it's a great song and has a lot of different characters in a song. it taking you on a roll. a visual story path. it's anything that makes me want to listen again. usually, it has to do with something in the melody that catches your ear. if there's a cool beat underneath it, maybe that's it. usually, you don't want to listen again until it catches you. ♪ over the rainbow >> you're listening to "down by the river" which is the epic nine-minute long -- there's like the best guitar solo in the world on it. so i keep listening to that and hoping that his guitar will just sink into me. i guess my dream is to play guitar, even, you know, half as good as neal young some day.
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♪ ♪ the silliest things >> jimmy: on the show tonight, ted
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